Wind Creek Casino Fined $125K for Underage Gambling Breaches

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In a swift act of justice, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has issued a stiff $125,000 fine against the Wind Creek Bethlehem casino. The fine was levied in response to a series of instances wherein nearly a dozen underage visitors breached the gambling floor. Not quite high-rollers yet by legal standards, these youthful gamblers, ages 18 to 20, needed to be a bare minimum of 21 years old to legally partake in the adult world of games of chance at state casinos.

Over the span of almost two years, from November 2021 to September 2023, 11 underage patrons surreptitiously infiltrated the casino floor on ten separate occasions. It wasn’t until later that these transgressions came to light, leading to the hefty fine.

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Punishment towards these underage trespassers was not uniform; some received permanent bans from the Wind Creek Bethlehem, preventing any potential future escapades onto the gaming floor, while others earned citations from the watchful eyes of the Pennsylvania State Police.

In an effort to curtail future transgressions of this sort, Wind Creek Bethlehem will be implementing detailed penalty signage in the casino. These warning signs will serve as a deterring reminder to potential underage patrons looking to leverage false IDs as a golden ticket into the casino.

Unveiling another layer of deterrence, PGCB’s “What’s Really at Stake? Underage gambling will cost you!” educational initiative promises to visually adorn the gaming property with stark warning posters.

During the two-year span when these infractions were rampant, the casino staff turned up security by closely checking IDs of anyone appearing under 30. A whopping 737,257 IDs were put under the scanner over this period, turning away 4,779 underage casino hopefuls who dared to make their way towards the gaming floor.

In an unrelated but equally unsettling incident, an unnamed couple was dealt a strict ban from all Pennsylvania casinos. Their transgression was of a distinctly distressing nature – abandoning a five-month-old baby in a car at a state casino. They exchanged the warmth of their baby’s presence for the harsh, flashing lights of the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack. Leaving the engine running, the couple surrendered to their gambling instincts, leaving the infant unattended for almost half an hour in 47-degree weather. The child was fortunately found safe, with no physical harm incurred.

Adding to these unfortunate events, in the same meeting, the PGCB refused an appeal from a woman seeking removal from the involuntary exclusion list. The woman was placed on the list for a disturbingly similar event in 2017, as she abandoned a four-year-old child in a vehicle at a gaming property in 95-degree weather. The car was turned off while she went inside the casino and gambled for about fifteen minutes before returning.

In a further statement, the PGCB explained that adults are strictly prohibited from leaving minors unattended in any casino-related facilities, underlining the safety risks and potential dangers it posed to the children. In addition to being banned, the offending adult could also face criminal prosecution notably underscoring the perils and costs of such impulsive, wrongful actions.